This is a detailed notarial and documentary services guide at the British Embassy in Addis Ababa.
The British Embassy in Ethiopia provides a limited range of notarial and documentary services for British nationals in Ethiopia. If there is no specific formal requirement for a notarial service or certificate to be provided by the British Embassy, you should use a local notary or lawyer. They can sometimes provide these services more cheaply, quickly and conveniently. It is essential that you check with the authority that is requesting the notarial document that a document from us will be accepted by them. Where you need a document for a country other than the United Kingdom or Ethiopia, you must give us satisfactory evidence that the notarial document will be recognised by the jurisdiction of that country. Only the relevant authority can tell you which service you will require. This information cannot be verified by the British Embassy. We will not give you a refund if your certificates or notarial services are not accepted by the requesting authority. If you cannot find what you are looking for in the list below, please see other services provided by the British Embassy in Ethiopia, or contact a local notary or lawyer.
Services we provide in Ethiopia
Consular staff in Ethiopia can:
- make a certified copy of a document
- administer an oath, affirmation or affidavit
- witness a signature
For all appointments for notarial services you will need to bring acceptable proof of your identity and address.
- We accept passports or national identity cards as proof of identity.
- We accept resident permits and Kebele identity cards as proof of your address.
You will also need to bring the appropriate fee. See a full list of our consular fees here. We accept payment by Master/Visa Card, which will be deducted in GBP on the day of the appointment. As card payments are quicker, efficient, and more secure, we only accept cash (local currency) as a last resort.
Make a certified copy of a document
This service is for British nationals who need certified photocopies of documents (British passports, UK driving licenses or UK educational documents). The original document will need to be produced to the British Embassy. We cannot accept copies or scanned versions.
We are unable to provide certified copies of UK birth, marriage and death certificates (these can be obtained from the relevant General Register Office in the UK). We are unable to provide certified copies of wills or powers of attorney (POA).
This service does not verify or authenticate your documents. You will be provided with a photocopy of your document with a confirmation that it is a true copy of the original. It is your responsibility to check that a certified copy will be accepted by the requesting authority.
Administer an oath, affirmation or affidavit
This service is for people who need to swear an oath, make an affirmation or make an affidavit in front of a consular officer. The consulate will not draft documents for you. First check with the consulate what format they need and then have the document drawn up or checked by a professional.
Witness a signature
This is a service whereby someone vouches for the authenticity of another’s signature where the other has signed first in his or her presence. Consular officers are able to witness signatures in certain circumstances. Please note we cannot act as witnesses for wills or powers of attorney (POA), and we cannot witness signatures on life certificates (see below).
Getting Married in Ethiopia
Please see Getting Married Abroad for information on how to apply for these documents.
Legalisation of UK documents
British Embassies and Consulates are unable to legalise UK public documents. Legalisation is the official confirmation that a signature, seal or stamp on an official public document is genuine. UK public documents such as birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates can be legalised by the UK government in the UK. This is also known as an apostille.
There are three steps you need to follow to have your United Kingdom document legalised for use in Ethiopia:
Step 1: Contact the Legalisation Office, Milton Keynes, UK
To check if the document can be legalised and to apply online for this service please visit get documents legalized
If you are in Ethiopia you can send your documents to the Legalisation Office by courier and then have them sent on to the Ethiopian Embassy in London (step 2). If you wish to do this include the UK courier fee and a pre-addressed envelope for the Ethiopian Embassy in London when you send your documents (as well as a pre-paid envelope for the documents to then be returned to you by the Ethiopian Embassy – see below).
Step 2: Have the document legalised by the Ethiopian Embassy in London
Once the original document(s) have been legalised by the UK Legalisation Office the document(s) must be sent to the Ethiopian Embassy in London for the next stage of the process. You can do this either in person or by post. If you have already paid the courier fee the UK Legalisation Office can send these for you. If submitting by post you must include a paid self-addressed envelope for the Ethiopian Embassy to return your document(s) to you.
More information on what to do can be found on the legalisation pages of the Ethiopian Embassy website.
Step 3 : For use in Ethiopia the document(s) must be stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Addis Ababa
Before undertaking these steps, British Nationals are encouraged to contact the local authorities for confirmation on what is required. There is no requirement for the British Embassy in Addis Ababa to view or stamp these documents once these steps are complete.
This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice.
Legalisation of foreign documents
British Embassies and Consulates are unable to legalise foreign documents because the UK does not require foreign documents to be legalised for use in the UK. If the document is to be used in another country (including Ethiopia), you should contact the legalisation authorities of the country where the document will be used for advice.
Life certificates to claim State Pension abroad
British Embassies and Consulates cannot witness signatures on your life certificate if you are claiming a British pension abroad, including those required by the Department of Work and Pensions. Please refer to the list of people working in a recognised profession who can witness your life certificate.
For the cost of all our services, please visit our fees page.
You can pay for your notarial document(s) at the British Embassy on the day of collection. We accept payment by Master/Visa card, which will be deducted in GBP on the day of the appointment. As card payments are quicker, efficient, and more secure, we only accept cash (local currency) as a last resort.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office holds and uses data for purposes notified to the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998 (which may be viewed at www.ico.org.uk ). Such personal data may be enclosed to other UK government departments and public authorities.
This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy/consulate by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. Accordingly the FCO and the British embassy/consulate general will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. For all notarial services, it is the responsibility of the customer to ascertain the precise requirements of the person requesting the notarial service and to satisfy themselves that the service provided by the embassy/consulate will be accepted.